Ben Martin has played in a golf tournament 16 of the last 21 weeks, and that is a lot of tournament play and pressure.
The first group of those tournaments Martin had to play well to earn his way into the Korn Ferry Tour finals.
The second group, the three tournaments that made up the Korn Ferry Final Stage Q School, got Martin his PGA Tour card back after playing the better part of the last four years with some conditional status on Tour.
The final group of tournaments has been since the start of the wrap-around PGA Tour season. Instead of the year starting in January, in Hawaii, it starts at the end of 2022 with points earned applicable to the following year.
Martin hoped to play well to move up in the standings and avoid losing ground in the reshuffle at the start of next year.
After a few disappointments to start the year, Martin came out firing at Sea Island to shoot his way into a share of the lead in the last regular PGA Tour event of the year,
Martin shot rounds of 69 – 64 – 65 for a 14 under par 154 total and declared his third round a boring round of golf.
“I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens, ” said the former Clemson golfer. “I don’t remember chipping, it was kind of the way you want to play golf. Kinda boring,” he said.
After his round, in the press room, Martin offered a bit of wisdom his college coach Larry Penley used to preach to his players.
“Larry Penley at Clemson (Martin’s college coach) used to say boring golf is good golf and good golf is great golf. I took advantage of opportunities and didn’t make a ton of mistakes,” said Martin.
Martin’s boring round left him tied with Patrick Rodgers for the lead with the final round to be played on Sunday.
Ever since a problem with his back caused him to take a medical leave from the Tour. Martin has been working his way back into contention and his performance so far at the RSM Classic gives him a chance to win his second PGA Tour event.
The PGA Tour pro from Greenwood has been in this kind of situation before. Last year, with lower PGA Tour status as a former champion to fall back on, Martin came within a shot of winning the Corales Puntacana Championship.
A win would have returned Martin to full status on the PGA Tour after several years of part time play.
Instead Martin made his return to PGA Tour status the hard way, by earning his card back through the Korn-Ferry final three tournaments.
With a win, and even a high finish on Sunday, will improve his status and return him to the place he was before the injury.
Martin has been in very competitive final rounds before in his professional career.
In 2015 he birdied 15, 16 and 17 at The Players Championship to tie for the lead before Rickie Fowler was able to win the championship in a playoff.
Martin also remembers his finish at his PGA Tour win in Las Vegas and expects to remember those experiences in the final round.
“I think back on those times on Sunday when I’ve had a chance to win, in Vegas when I did win playing the last four holes to get it done. Ill be able to draw on that tomorrow,” said Martin.
Martin is looking forward to the break the Tour takes after this weekend, but does not want to let the opportunity for a win get away from him because he is not as fresh as he would have liked to be for the tournament.
“I’m ready to have a break, but if I pack it in this week I will be disappointed at how I finished. My thought now is let me finish the season strong, not necessarily what my score will be, but the effort I put into the week,” he said,
Martins full interview and third round highlights are on this page on the PGA Tour web site at https://www.pgatour.com/yahoo/leaderboard.html
Categories: PGA Tour